As we go about our daily routines, we usually have control over our bodies; in fact, our bodies generally do whatever we want them to. But this isn’t always the case, as there are some functions that we can’t control, and that can lead to conflict in the relationship between the Self and the body. This is especially true when it comes to the functions of the digestive system, in particular the intestine, which sends us signals that can sometimes interfere with our everyday lives and make the relationship very complicated.
In fact, the relationship between the brain and the intestine is very important for our mental and physical well-being, and this book focuses on the feelings and discomfort experienced by people affected by irritable bowel syndrome. It is an easy-to-read text that aims to provide the reader with the tools to learn about their own intestine, and to identify and understand the various aspects and symptoms of this chronic syndrome and the many factors that come together to cause it.
Fortunately, most people only have occasional mild intestinal upsets that they can often manage on their own or with the help of a pharmacist. Nonetheless, it is extremely important to recognise and understand the suffering of those who experience severe forms, treating them with dignity and lending them support.
Through studying the experiences of some people affected by irritable bowel syndrome and their conversations with doctors, the outlines emerge of the various clinical expressions of the disease and its many underlying mechanisms; as well as of the role of the doctor, who manages to create a relationship in which the patient finds understanding of their illness and their suffering, along with a safe point of reference to manage the discomfort.
Enrico Stefano Corazziari, formerly professor of Gastroenterology at the La Sapienza University of Roma, is currently senior consultant in the Gastroenterology Department of the Humanitas Clinical Institute in Rozzano. Member of numerous esteemed national and international neurogastroenterology groups, he is president of the Neurogastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Motility Association (ANEMGI-Onlus).